Skip to main content
You are here

Plants & fungi

The first official Red Data List for British fungi

Toad stool: Boletus immutatus is one of the fungi now on the official British Red List (Image: M. Ainsworth)
Thu, 2013-10-10 10:11

Red Data Lists provide a widely used format for publicising the relative extinction risk faced by various taxa. Although British fungal Red Data Lists were published in 1992 and 2006, neither of these achieved official approval by the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), thereby diminishing their effectiveness in conservation decision-making.

Analysis of yew wood

Taxus baccata
Tue, 2013-09-03 10:30

Taxus baccata (European yew) is a well known poisonous plant. Eating a relatively small quantity of leaves can be fatal for livestock and humans. The toxicity of yew leaves is due to the presence of alkaloids known as taxines, of which taxine B is suspected as being one of the most poisonous. Taxines are also known to be present in the bark and seeds of yew, but are absent from the fleshy red arils.

Growing the wrong Tephrosia

Tephrosia vogelii
Mon, 2013-07-29 11:59

Synthetic pesticides can be problematic in African farming systems due to environmental persistence, exposure to hazardous chemicals, cost and adulteration (dilution) by unscrupulous traders. Pesticidal plants provide the poorest farmers with a low-cost alternative that is environmentally benign and less toxic.